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Paper  read  at  Meeting  of  the  Old  Dartmouth  Historical  Society, 
By  Henry  H.  Crapo 
November,    1937 




No.  67 

In  the  Series  of  Sketches 
of  New  Bedford's  Early  History 

Collect  sat 


The  Old  Dartmouth  Historical  Society  traditionally  ex- 
ploits the  romance  of  whaling.  Yet  during  one  third  only  of 
the  three  hundred  and  more  years  of  Old  Dartmouth  have  whales 
played  an  important  part  in  our  lives.  For  the  first  hundred 
years,  which  unquestionably  were  the  hardest,  the  pioneers, 
when  not  engaged  in  asserting  their  antagonistic  religious  creeds, 
were  occupied  in  clearing  the  forests  and  cultivating  a  reluctant 
soil  for  their  subsistence.  Their  wives  and  children  were  en- 
grossed, among  other  things,  in  spinning  and  weaving,  by  hand 
in  their  homes,  wool  and  flax  and  other  fibres  for  clothing  and 
household  use.  It  was  during  the  next  hundred  years  that  Dart- 
mouth vexed  the  seas,  chasing  and  killing  whales,  and  furnishing 
the  world  with  light.  During  the  last  one  hundred  years,  roughly, 
the  people  of  New  Bedford  have  busied  themselves  in  spinning 
and  weaving  cotton  by  machinery  in  factories  for  the  use  of 
the  world  at  large. 

Without  abandoning  our  allegiance  to  the  royal  mammal 
of  the  Ocean  it  is  fitting  we  call  to  remembrance  that  other  master 
of  our  destiny,  —  King  Cotton. 


Cotton  is  obtained  from  the  gossamer  filament  enveloping 
the  seed  of  a  plant  indigenous  in  Southern  India  before  the 
earliest  days  of  recorded  history,  —  long  before  Jonah  made  his 
intimate  acquaintance  with  a  whale.  It  is  an  annual  plant, 
dying  down  in  the  autumn  and  planted  from  seed  in  the  spring. 
Its  flower  is  something  like  a  mallow,  cream  turning  to  pink. 
The  seed  vessel,  or  boll,  in  which  the  snowy  white  fibre  is  tightly 
packed,  is  about  the  size  of  a  walnut. 

This  cotton  fibre,  once  called  "vegetable  wool",  has  proved 
of  astonishing  importance  in  the  social,  economic,  and  political 
history  of  the  modern  world.  Within  the  last  few  hundred 
years  its  manufacture  into  cloth  and  its  distribution,  have  been 
controlling   factors   in   the   development   of   the   British    Empire 

and  the  prosperity  of  the  United  States.     Cotton,  in   fact,  has 
been  vastly  more  important  than  whale  oil  in  the  human  drama. 

Primitive  man's  first  wants  were  food  and  protection 
against  weather.  The  aboriginal  man  soon  found  that  twisting 
fibres,  either  animal  or  vegetable,  helped  him  in  obtaining  food, 
— by  bow  strings,  cords,  fish  lines,  etc.  In  this  sense  spinning 
was  in  use  long  before  weaving.  Then  the  women  (I  am  sure 
it  was  women  who  were  originally  responsible  for  the  textile 
industry)  began  to  twist  various  strands  of  wool  and  flax  and 
jute,  —  whatever  they  could  find  —  ,  and  weave  them  into  nets, 
raiment,  coverings,  tents,  and  other  conveniences  for  them- 
selves and  their  men  folks.  Wool  and  flax  were,  at  first,  the 
more  available  fibres.  The  use  of  cotton  seems  to  have  been 
due  to  a  desire  to  create  something  luxurious  and  aesthetically 
satisfying.  The  arts  of  design,  of  colored  patterns,  of  fine  tex- 
tures, were  certainly  stimulated  by  the  discovery  that  the  fragile 
fibre  of  the  cotton  plant,  and  the  cocoon  webs  of  the  silk  worm, 
could  be  spun  and  woven  into  delicate  cloth. 

For  thirty  centuries  the  cotton  plant  has  been  grown  in 
Southern  India,  and  its  fibre  used  for  textiles.  Persians,  and 
other  Eastern  peoples,  at  an  early  date,  decorated  cotton  fabrics 
with  elaborate  designs.  No  doubt  fine  India  muslins  were  early 
imported  into  Egypt,  where  the  main  textile  crop  was  flax  grown 
on  the  Delta  and  along  the  river  shores  of  the  Nile.  Most  of 
the  exquisite  fabrics  found  in  the  tombs  of  the  ancient  Egyptians 
are  of  linen.  Slowly,  however,  and  apparently  in  defiance  of 
religious  taboos,  (no  doubt  founded  on  economic  reasons),  the 
Egyptians,  several  centuries  before  Christ,  discovered  their  soil 
and  climate  were  especially  available  for  the  cultivation  of  the 
cotton  plant.  Egyptian  cotton,  because  of  its  long  staple,  has 
been  one  of  the  most  desirable  cottons  of  the  world.  Because 
of  its  restricted  areas  of  cultivation,  and  short  seasons,  the 
supply  has  been  limited. 

It  is  somewhat  astonishing  that  the  very  earliest  specimens 
of  highly  wrought  and  decorated  cotton  textiles  are  of  Peru- 
vian origin.  Centuries  before  Columbus  discovered  America 
cotton  was  grown  in  Peru,  Chili,  Mexico,  and  the  islands  of  the 
Caribbean  Sea.  This  fact  raises  an  interesting  speculation  whether 
the  cotton  plant  was  indeed  indigenous  in  South  America,  or 
whether  it  was  brought  across  the  Pacific  Ocean  from  India. 
If,  indeed,  the  cotton  seed  was  brought  from  India,  it  is  one  of 

the  many  indications  that  the  early  civilization  of  the  Americas 
was  derived  from  Asia. 

The  knowledge  of  cotton  was  slow  in  penetrating  modern 
Europe.  Alexander  the  Great  brought  it  to  Greece.  The 
Phoenicians  and  others  carried  the  fabrics  to  Italy  and  Spain 
many  years  before  the  Christian  era.  When  Columbus,  in 
1492,  discovered  what  he  supposed  was  India,  he  found  the 
natives  using  cotton  cloth,  and  took  back  to  Spain  specimens  of 
cotton  boll  as  evidence  that  he  had,  indeed,  reached  India.  He 
little  knew  that  in  those  seed  vessels  was  potential  wealth  im- 
measurably exceeding  all  the  treasures  of  gold  and  precious 
jewels  which  Spain  subsequently  extracted  from  the  western 

When  Cortes  conquered  Mexico  (H19)  he  sent  back  to 
his  emperor,  Charles  V.  "cotton  mantles,  some  all  white,  others 
mixed  with  white  and  black  or  red,  green,  yellow  and  blue; 
waist-coats,  handkerchiefs,  counterpanes,  tapestries,  and  carpets 
of  cotton."  The  royal  robes  of  Montezuma  and  of  the  Incas 
were  of  cotton  dyed  and  studded  with  jewels.  Yet  it  was  not 
cotton  the  Spaniards  craved.  With  their  destruction  of  the 
civilization  of  the  Aztecs  and  Incas  the  high  cultivation  and  the 
fine  weaving  of  cotton  ceased.  The  plant,  however,  continued 
to  grow  wild  in  South  America,  Mexico  and  the  West  Indies, 
and,  to  some  extent,  was  used  by  the  natives  for  coarse  cloths. 
For  two  and  a  half  centuries  and  more  after  Columbus  it  is 
doubtful  whether  cotton  was  indigenous  or  cultivated  to  any 
extent  in  any  part  of  the  territory  now  included  in  the  United 
States,  although  cotton  cloth  was  not  entirely  unknown  to  some 
of  the  North  American  Indians. 

It  was,  indeed,  not  until  shortly  before  the  American  Revo- 
lution that  cotton  was  actively  cultivated  in  what  are  now  our 
Southern  States.  Certain  planters  in  Virginia,  grown  rich  by 
the  cultivation  of  tobacco,  had  used  cotton  bushes  in  their  elab- 
orate gardens  as  decorative  shrubs.  Gradually  cotton  was  raised 
in  Georgia  and  the  Carolinas  as  a  subsidiary  crop.  Not  until 
the  nineteenth  century  did  our  Southern  States  become  far  and 
away  the  greatest  producers  of  raw  cotton  in  the  world,  supply- 
ing England  and  all  other  countries  with  the  fibre  which  had 
then  become  all  important  in  the  commerce  and  industry  of 

India,  Egypt  and,  finally  to  a  greater  extent,  the  Southern 
States  of  the  United  States,  became  and  still  are  the  important 

producers  of  cotton,  although  a  number  of  other  localities  have 
instituted  and  in  some  degree  succeeded  in  raising  the  plant. 
There  are  various  varieties  of  cotton,  usually  classified  by  the 
staple  length  of  the  fibre.  Egyptian  cotton  is  of  the  longer  staple, 
and  the  Sea  Island  cotton,  once  grown  abundantly  off  the  coasts 
of  Georgia  and  Florida,  and  now,  to  some  extent  elsewhere  in 
our  Southern  States,  is  also  of  high  grade.  It  is  the  long  staple 
cotton,  desirable  for  the  finer  weaves  of  goods,  which,  during 
the  last  half  century  has  been  the  type  largely  used  in  New 
Bedford  mills. 

The  man  who,  above  all  others,  is  responsible  for  the 
amazing  increase  in  the  world's  use  of  raw  cotton  was  a  Yankee 
named  Eli  Whitney,  born  in  Westboro,  Massachusetts,  in  1765. 
Graduating  at  Yale  College  he  obtained  a  position  as  tutor  in 
Georgia.  Visiting  the  family  of  the  widow  of  General  Nathaniel 
Green,  of  Revolutionary  fame,  he  happened  to  be  present  at  a 
dinner  company,  perhaps  on  Cumberland  Island,  where  certain 
planters  were  discussing  the  intolerably  slow  process  of  ex- 
tracting the  seeds  from  the  cotton  fibre  by  hand,  as  had,  of 
course,  always  been  done  from  the  earliest  days.  Mrs.  Green 
(who  had  married  Phineas  Miller,  a  college  chum  of  Whitney's) 
said:  "Mr.  Whitney,  why  don't  you  get  up  something  to  do  the 
work?  You  seem  able  to  do  anything!"  Whitney  replied:  "As 
for  cleaning  cotton  seed,  I  shouldn't  know  it  if  I  saw  it."  The 
next  day,  however,  he  watched  cotton  being  separated  from  the 
bolls  by  the  sweating  slaves,  and  soon  went  to  work  in  earnest. 

This  story,  I  fear,  may  be  somewhat  apocryphal,  certainly 
as  to  the  conversation,  and  possibly  as  to  the  locus.  At  all 
events  it  was  my  privilege,  last  Spring,  to  visit  Cumberland 
Island  and  stand  on  the  site  of  General  Green's  mansion,  now 
torn  down,  where  it  is  said  Whitney  received  his  inspiration. 
Nearby  still  stands  the  low  tabby  building  which  General  Green 
vised  as  an  Office,  and  which,  very  likely,  Whitney  used  for  ex- 
perimental drafting.  In  the  days  of  General  Green,  and  for 
half  a  century  later,  more  than  one  thousand  slaves  cultivated 
"Sea  Island  cotton"  on  Cumberland  Island,  now  covered  with 
pitch  pine  forests  and  semitropical  vegetation. 

Eli  Whitney  did,  in  fact,  devise  a  machine  called  a  saw-gin 
("gin"  is  merely  a  colloquial  abbreviation  of  en-gin  (e)  ).  The 
result  was  incredibly  revolutionary.  A  single  gin  had  the 
capacity  of  three  thousand  pair  of  hands  in  separating  the  fibre 
from  the  seeds.     In   1792,  before  the  invention  of  the  gin,  the 

United  States  exported  only  130,000  lbs.  of  cotton.  In  1810, 
only  a  few  years  after  the  invention,  3  5,000,000  lbs.  were  ex- 
ported. The  maximum  production  of  raw  cotton  in  the  United 
States  has  since  exceeded  5,000,000,000  lbs.  forming  the  most 
valuable  money  crop  of  the  country. 

Whitney  obtained  a  patent  in  1794,  signed  by  George  Wash- 
ington in  Philadelphia.  As  so  often  is  the  case  with  inventors 
Whitney  derived  no  adequate  pecuniary  reward  for  his  epoch 
making  contrivance,  which  so  immensely  stimulated  the  culti- 
vation and  production  of  cotton  in  our  Southern  States,  bring- 
ing vast  wealth  to  the  planters,  and  largely  contributing  to  the 
secession  of  those  States  from  the  Union  in  1862. 

Within  a  year  or  two  there  has  been  found  in  Wilkes 
County,  Georgia,  an  original  hand  driven  Whitney  cotton  gin. 
Mr.  Victor  S.  Dupres,  who  now  lives  on  the  old  Eli  Whitney  farm 
in  Westboro,  has  interested  himself  in  obtaining  this  machine 
together  with  the  old  gin-house  in  which  it  was  used  one  hun- 
dred and  forty  years  ago,  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  it  to 
Massachusetts  as  a  memorial  to  the  man  who  so  largely  contrib- 
uted to  the  feasibility  of  the  New  England  cotton  industry. 
Mr.  Dupres  sent  me  a  photograph  of  this  machine  which  is  now 
in  our  Museum. 


The  crude  implements  used  by  the  Hindoos  in  spinning  and 
weaving  cotton,  modified  and  improved  as  time  went  on,  yet 
not  essentially  changed,  continued  in  use  for  many  centuries  in 
Asia,  Africa,  and  Europe.  The  hand  turned  spinning  wheel, 
and  the  common  hand  loom,  practically  similar  to  those  used 
by  the  housewives  of  Old  Dartmouth  in  the  eighteenth  century 
(now  on  exhibition  in  our  Colonial  Museum)  were  the  univer- 
sal implements,  and,  indeed,  to  some  extent,  are  still  used  all  the 
world  over. 

It  was  during  the  latter  half  of  the  eighteenth  century 
that,  through  the  ingenuity  and  enterprise  of  Englishmen, 
machines  were  invented,  operated  by  steam  or  water  power, 
which  transformed  the  manufacture  of  cotton  textiles  from  a 
manual  into  a  mechanical  process,  and  revolutionized  the  social 
and  the  political  life  of  England,  and  later  of  the  United  States. 

"The  factory  system  has  not,  perhaps,  produced  better  fabrics, 
but  it  has  produced  them  more  quickly,  more  easily,  and  in 
vaster  greater  quantity."  It  is  only  in  very  modern  times  that 
attempts  have  been  made  to  excel  the  fine  weaves  and  the  in- 
comparable designs  of  Oriental  and  Peruvian  hand  products. 

A  brief  enumeration  of  some  of  these  mechanical  inventions 
which  caused  the  "English  Industrial  Revolution"  is:  — 1710. 
James  Hargreaves,  the  spinning  jenny;  —  1738.  John  Kay 
the  fly  shuttle;  —  1768.  Richard  Arkwright,  the  spinning 
frame;  —  1779.  Samuel  Crompton,  the  mule;  —  1786.  Ed- 
mund Cartwright,  the  power  loom.  In  reference  to  the  last 
named  invention  it  is  interesting  that  Mr.  Cartwright  was  a 
minister  of  the  gospel,  in  no  way  trained  to  the  practical  art  of 
weaving.  This  is  another  illustration  of  the  numerous  remark- 
able inventions  which  have  been  evolved  by  men  who  were 
strangers  to  the  industry   involved. 

It  was  some  years  later,  in  1804,  that  Joseph  Marie  Jacquard 
of  France,  invented  the  loom  which  is  still  designated  by  his 
name.  Napoleon  Bonaparte  hearing  of  this  invention  sent  for 
Jacquard  and  asked  him:  "Are  you  the  man  who  can  do  what 
God  Almighty  can  not,  —  tie  a  knot  in  a  taut  string?"  To 
which  Jacquard  replied:  "I  can  not  do  what  God  cannot,  but 
what  God  has  taught  me  to  do."  The  loom  was,  originally,  ar- 
ranged with  weighted  strings  passing  over  a  pulley  and  falling 
into  perforated  cards.  Each  motion  changed  the  position  of  the 
strings,  allowing  some  to  go  through  the  holes  and  draw  up  the 
warp  thread  so  it  was  skipped,  while  others  struck  the  cards 
and  left  the  strands  in  place  to  be  woven  by  the  shuttle.  In 
this  way  the  weaver  could  pass  his  thread  over,  under,  or  through 
the  warp  as  required  by  the  design  of  the  perforated  cards.  It 
was  the  first  efficient  machine  to  do  elaborate  design  weaving. 
As  has  been  often  the  case  the  opposition  of  labor  was  so  great 
that  the  loom  was  destroyed  by  fire  in  public  places,  and  Jac- 
quard compelled  to  flee  for  his  life  from  France.  In  New  Bed- 
ford, which  in  the  last  quarter  of  the  last  century  turned 
to  "fine  goods"  and  "fancies"  the  modernized  cotton  Jacquard 
loom  has  been  largely  used. 

There  naturally  have  been  innumerable  inventions  and  im- 
provements of  cotton  power  machinery.  I  mention  only  two. 
In    1831   John  Sharp  of  Providence  improved   the  spindle  by  a 

ring  device.  In  1888  George  Draper  and  Sons  of  Hopedale, 
Massachusetts,  developed  a  highly  efficient  power  loom,  now 
known  as  the  "Draper  Automatic  Loom"  with  which  many  of 
our  New  Bedford  mills  are  equipped. 

PRIOR  TO   1845 

The  art  of  hand  spinning  and  weaving  wool,  flax,  and  cot- 
ton was  known  to  many  of  the  first  settlers  of  New  England, 
and  its  practice  encouraged  for  the  common  good.  In  1640  the 
General  Court  of  Massachusetts  ordered  a  survey  of  spinning 
and  weaving,  seeking  a  method  of  teaching  the  boys  and  girls 
of  all  towns.  In  165  6  the  Court  ordered  the  Selectmen  in  every 
town  "to  turn  women,  boys,  and  girls  towards  weaving"  and 
decreed  that  every  family  in  the  colony  must  produce  a  fixed 
quota  of  yarn  and  cloth,  or  suffer  a  fine  for  failure. 

Before  the  American  Revolution  such  cotton  as  was  used 
came  from  the  West  Indies,  and  practically  all  finished  cloths, 
not  wrought  on  household  looms,  were  imported.  It  was  the 
deliberate  policy  of  the  English  Government  to  suppress  manu- 
factures of  whatever  kind  in  its  colonies.  With  the  advent  of 
the  stamp  act  and  the  secession  of  the  colonies  from  the  mother 
country,  the  manufacture  of  cloth  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic 
Ocean  sprang  into  being.  Co-operative  spinning  and  weaving 
was  started  in  Rowley  and  Ipswich,  Massachusetts,  and  in  the 
South  as  well.  A  tentative  "cotton  factory"  was  started  in 
Beverley,  Massachusetts  in  1787.  In  1789  George  Washington 
visited  this  mill  and  highly  approved  the  enterprise.  The  mill, 
however,  was  not  successful  yet  it  actually  made  cotton  goods 
by  machinery  before  the  more  famous  Slater  Mill  at  Pawtucket. 

In  1789  Samuel  Slater,  who  may  fairly  be  called  the  "Fath- 
er of  the  Cotton  Industry  in  the  United  States"  came  to  Rhode 
Island.  He  was  born  in  Belper,  Derbyshire,  England  in  1768. 
He  had  worked  for  Arkwright.  He  interested  Moses  Brown  and 
William  Almy,  men  of  prominence  in  Providence,  to  enable  him 
to  build  cotton  machinery  and  established  a  factory  at  Paw- 
tucket. In  1790  the  mill  was  operating.  It  was,  at  first,  exclu- 
sively a  spinning  mill,  the  yarn  being  sold  throughout  New 
England  to  "cottage  weavers."  "The  old  Slater  Mill','  of  which 
Rhode  Island  is  immensely  proud,  still  stands  on  the  bank  of  the 
rushing  Blackstone  River,  —  now  a  museum. 

Within  a  few  years  many  small  cotton  mills  were  built  in 
New  England  and  the  Southern  States.  During  the  next  two 
decades  a  few  larger  mills  were  attempted  in  New  England.  The 
fever  struck  Fall  River,  then  called  Troy  Village.  The  Durfees 
and  the  Bordens  were  moving  spirits.  The  Troy  Manufacturing 
Company  was  organized  in  1817.  Soon  other  mills  were  suc- 
cessfully operated  by  the  marvelous  waterpower  of  the  river. 
By  1833  there  were  thirteen  mills  in  Fall  River  with  40,000 
spindles.  Some  of  the  surplus  capital  of  New  Bedford  was  in- 
vested in  these  mills.  The  Rodmans  and  Robesons  were  actively 
interested.  Other,  and  larger,  mills  were  started  in  Lowell, 
Manchester,  Lancaster,  and  other  New  England  cities.  During 
the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  the  manufacture  of  cot- 
ton cloth,  both  in  the  Northern  and  the  Southern  States,  be- 
came one  of  the  most  important  industries  of  the  United  States. 


Old  Dartmouth  was  slow  in  paying  obeisance  to  King  Cot- 
ton. So  long  as  whale  oil  and  whale  bone  were  supremely  re- 
munerative the  royal  Leviathan  of  the  Sea  held  us  in  sway.  Why, 
indeed,  should  we  have  turned  to  such  a  super-antiquated  and 
prosaic  source  of  revenue  as  the  manipulation  of  cotton  fibre? 
The  whale  fishery  completely  dominated  the  town.  Before  1845 
there  were  no  "factories"  of  any  kind  in  Old  Dartmouth,  save 
grist  mills,  a  small  woolen  mill  in  Acushnet,  a  small  iron  factory, 
called  the  Gosnold  Mill  on  the  river,  and  sundry  industries 
directly  connected  with  whaling,  such  as  ship  building,  spar 
making,  rope  twisting,  cordage,  cooperage,  sail  making,  out- 
fitters supplies,  candle  works  etc.,  etc.  Surplus  capital  of 
our  merchants  was  apt  to  be  invested  outside  of  Dartmouth,  in 
maritime  or  commercial  enterprises,  or  the  new  fangled  steam 
railroads,  or  iron  and  nail  factories. 

A  few  months  ago,  dismantling  the  residence  of  Captain 
Joseph  C.  Delano,  a  letter  addressed  to  the  Captain  by  George 
Randall,  dated  February  15,  1847,  was  found.  Mr.  Randall  the 
owner,  or  part  owner,  of  Fish  Island,  set  this  forth  a  proposal  to 
"improve  the  north  side  of  the  Island  —  this  spot,"  he  wrote 
"will  possess  advantages  equal,  if  not  superior,  to  anything  in  the 
United  States  for  driving  machinery  by  steam  —  My  present 
opinion   is  that  a  large  iron  manufactury,   and  one   for  cotton 

duck,  would  be  very  desirable  and  profitable."  Clearly  cotton 
was  subordinate  to  iron.  Mr.  Randall's  dreams  did  not  mater- 
ialize. The  manufacture  of  iron,  or,  indeed,  of  cotton  duck  were 
not  destined  to  be  developed  in  New  Bedford.  As  to  the  north 
part  of  Fish  Island  it  is  today,  nearly  a  hundred  years  later,  still 
largely  devoted  to  oil,  —  but  not  of  whales. 

Samuel  Rodman  may,  perhaps,  be  called  the  "Father  of  the 
New  Bedford  Cotton  Industry".  In  1845  he  conceived  the 
idea  of  establishing  a  cotton  mill  here.  On  February  30,  1846, 
some  two  months  before  the  speculative  incorporation  of  the 
Wamsutta  Mills,  the  Massachusetts  General  Court  incorporated 
Samuel  Rodman,  Alden  G.  Snell,  William  R.  Rotch  and  their 
associates  and  successors  under  the  name  of  the  "New  Bedford 
Steam  Mill  Company"  for  the  purpose  of  manufacturing  "cot- 
ton goods  and  the  grinding  of  corn,"  limiting  the  capital  to 
$160,000.  The  mill,  under  the  superintendence  of  Alden  G. 
Snell,  was  built  on  Rodman's  wharf  near  the  foot  of  Hillman 
Street.  It  commenced  operating  in  November  1846,  more  than 
two  years  before  the  Wamsutta  Mills  was  in  effective  opera- 
tion. In  1849,  according  to  the  New  Bedford  Directory,  the 
"Steam  Mills"  ran  7,500  spindles  and  turned  out  25,000  yards 
of  39  inch  sheeting  per  week." 

In  his  incomparable  diary  Mr.  Rodman  noted  in  detail  his 
absorption  in  the  construction  of  the  Steam  Mill  and  the  dif- 
ficulties of  its  operation  which  were  evidently  baffling,  due  to 
disputes  about  wages,  insufficient  capital  and,  as  he  believed,  a 
lack  of  efficiency  of  his  selling  agents  in  Boston.  In  the  end 
the  operation  became  too  onerous  for  Mr.  Rodman  and  in  1852 
it  was  decided  to  discontinue  it,  the  machinery  being  moved  to 
the  "Shaker's  Mill"  at  Shirley. 

Yet  the  impulse  to  manufacture  cotton  in  New  Bedford 
was  in  the  air  soon  after  1840.  Abraham  Howland,  Joseph  C. 
Delano  and  Henry  T.  Wood  as  early  as  1846  conceived  the  idea  of 
a  cotton  manufacturing  enterprise  to  be  called  the  "Wamsutta 
Mills".  A  charter  was  obtained  April  9th,  1846  by  Mr.  How- 
land  then  a  member  of  the  General  Court.  The  incorporators 
were  named  as  Jireh  Perry,  Matthew  Luce,  Thomas  S.  Hathaway, 
and  their  associates.  The  charter  enabled  the  corporation  to 
manufacture  cotton,  wool,  or  iron.  Mr.  Howland,  however, 
found  his  fellow  citizens  cautious  about  going  into  such  a  new 
and  untried  industry.     The  enerprise  la^ 

In  1840  Dwight  Perry  of  Fairhaven  went  to  Georgia  where 
he  operated  a  small  cotton  mill.  He  had  in  his  employ  another 
fairhaven  youngster  —  Thomas  Bennett.  Bennett  became  en- 
thusiastic about  cotton  manufacturing  and,  returning  to  New 
Bedford,  induced  William  T.  Russell  to  go  with  him  to  Georgia 
for  the  purpose  of  there  establishing  a  mill  fostered  by  New 
Bedford  capital.  The  plan  appearing  to  the  promoters  feasible, 
Joseph  Grinnell,  far  and  away  the  most  progressive  merchant  in 
New  Bedford,  was  consulted.  Mr.  Grinnell  had  been  in  the 
India  and  China  trade  in  New  York.  He  was  a  banker.  He  was 
a  member  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States.  He  had  vision 
and  was  singularly  alive  to  the  ever  changing  impulses  of  the 
world  about  him.  He  had  already  been  responsible  for  the 
steam  railroad  to  Taunton  which  opened  New  Bedford  to  the 
world  —  by  land.  He  was  a  Quaker.  He  was  not  impulsive. 
After  careful  consideration  he  decided  to  sponsor  a  cotton  mill, 
but  only  on  condition  it  be  established,  not  in  the  South,  but  in 
New  Bedford,  where  the  investors  could  watch  it. 

The  public  opinion  of  New  Bedford  was  strongly  against 
"corporations"  of  any  kind.  The  mechanics  were  especially 
against  a  "factory"  because  "organized  and  disciplined  labor  and 
longer  hours  of  mill  work  were  inimical  to  the  labor  interests". 
It  would,  manifestly,  be  necessary  to  import  trained  overseers 
and  operatives  to  the  detriment  of  the  natives.  The  merchants, 
also,  still  engrossed  in  the  whaling  industry,  were  disinclined  to 
embark  on  such  a  hazardous  voyage  as  cotton  manufacturing. 

Mr.  Grinnell  headed  the  list  of  subscribers  for  the  new  mill 
with  $10,000,  yet  it  was  with  great  difficulty  that  only  $160,000 
could  be  raised,  mostly  in  small  subscriptions.  The  speculative 
charter,  with  the  name  "Wamsutta  Mills",  obtained  by  Abraham 
Howland,  was  taken  over.  Joseph  Grinnelll  was  made  President, 
and  so  continued  for  nearly  twenty  years.  Thomas  Bennett, 
to  whom  Mr.  Grinnell  graciously  gave  the  credit  for  the  eventual 
success  of  the  mill,  was  made  "Agent  and  Engineer",  and  so  acted 
for  twenty-seven  years.  Edward  L.  Baker  who  had  been  largely 
responsible  for  obtaining  reluctant  subscriptions  was  made  Treas- 

The  original  plans  called  for  a  mill  of  16,000  spindles  and 
200  looms.  In  1853  a  second  mill  was  started.  Finally  there 
were  eight  mills  having  a  maximum  of  236,000  spindles  and 
7,300  looms,  constituting  one  of  the  largest  cotton  units  in  the 
United  States.    The  quality  of  its  products  have  been  appreciated 

in  many  parts  of  the  world.  Our  grandmothers,  and,  I  dare  say, 
our  granddaughters,  have  considered  "Wamsutta  Sheets"  of 
supreme   excellence. 

In  view  of  the  fact  that  the  Wamsutta  Mills  was  highly 
successful,  having  paid  in  the  first  twenty-five  years  dividends 
over  300' ,  of  its  capital,  and  in  view  of  the  fact  that  the  whale 
fishery  continued  to  decline  after  the  Civil  War,  it  now  seems 
curious  that  for  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century  no  other  cot- 
ton mill  was  established  in  New  Bedford. 

It  was  in  1871  the  "Potomska  Mills"  was  built,  Edward  and 
Hiram  Kilburn  and  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Senior,  being  actively 

In  November  1881  came  the  "Acushnet  Mills",  Joseph  F. 
Knowles  and  Horatio  Hathaway  being  the  leading  spirits. 

In  March  1882  the  "Grinnell  Manufacturing  Corporation" 
was  organized,  Edward  Kilburn  and  Otis  N.  Pierce,  President 
and  Treasurer. 

In  1882  the  "New  Bedford  Manufacturing  Co."  came  into 
existence,  William  D.  Howland  being  the  promoter  and  execu- 
tive head.  Later  in  1888  Mr.  Howland  organized  the  "How- 
land  Manufacturing  Company"  (subsequently  the  Gosnold 

In  1888  the  "City  Manufacturing  Co."  was  started  with 
Otis  N.  Pierce  as  President.  In  the  same  year  the  "Hathaway 
Manufacturing  Co.",  under  the  leadership  of  Joseph  F.  Knowles 
and  Horatio  Hathaway  came  into  existence. 

In  1889  Frank  R.  Hadley,  Henry  Holcomb  and  others 
built  the  "Bennett  Mills"  and  subsequently  the  "Columbia". 
These  were  spinning  mills. 

In  1892  the  "Pierce  Manufacturing  Company"  was  estab- 
lished by  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Jr.  In  the  same  year  the  "Bristol" 
with  Thomas  H.  Knowles  as  President  and  Benjamin  Wilcox  as 
Treasurer.  Also  the  same  year  the  "Rotch  Spinning  Company" 
(subsequently  the  Passaic  Cotton  Mills)  under  practically  the 
same  management  as  the  Howland  Mills. 

In  188  5  the  "Dartmouth  Mills"  was  promoted  through  the 
efforts  of  Abbott  P.  Smith  and  Rufus  A.  Soule.  In  later  years 
this  mill  came  under  the  successful  management  of  Walter  H. 

In  1895  Messrs.  Harding  and  Whitman  of  Boston  established 
the  "Whitman  Mill".  This  was  the  first  of  our  cotton  mills  to 
be  promoted  by  other  than  New  Bedford  Citizens. 

In  1896  the  "Beacon  Mills"  under  the  management  of 
Charles  D.  Owen  and  Charles  O.  Dexter  of  Providence,  Rhode 
Island,  was  organized  and  made  cotton  blankets  and  other 

In  1902  the  "Butler  Mills",  named  for  William  M.  Butler, 
and  the  "Soule  Mill",  named  for  Rufus  A.  Soule,  were  estab- 
lished.    Abbott  P.  Smith  was  the  promoter. 

In  1903  the  "Manomet  Mills"  were  built  by  the  Harding- 
Whitman  interests,  Charles  M.  Holmes  being  the  Agent. 

In  1904  the  "Kilburn  Mill",  a  spinning  mill,  was  organized 
under  the  management  of  Henry  L.  Tiffany. 

In  1906  the  "Taber  Mill"  was  built  under  the  leadership  of 
Frederick  Taber,  his  son  Frederick  H.  Taber,  Rufus  Soule,  Abbott 
P.  Smith  and  others. 

In  1906  the  "Nonquitt  Spinning  Mill"  was  established  by 
Willliam  Whitman.  In  the  same  year  was  organized  the  "Page 
Mill"  under  the  leadership  of  John  W.   Knowles. 

In  1909  the  "Nashawena  Mills"  was  started  by  William 
Whitman,  the  "Pierce  Bros.  Limited"  by  Andrew,  Edward  and 
Albert  Pierce,  and  the  "New  Bedford  Cotton  Mill"  of  which 
William  M.  Butler  was  President  and  James  O.  Thompson  Agent. 

In  1910  five  more  mills  were  built.  The  "Holmes  Mill",  a 
Harding  project,  Charles  M.  Holmes  being  the  manager;  The 
"Booth  Mill",  Charles  E.  Riley,  President,  and  George  H.  Booth 
Treasurer;  The  "Neild  Manufacturing  Co."  by  John  Neild  and 
Joseph  W.  Allen;  The  "Quissett  Mill",  promoted  by  Abbott  P. 
Smith,  William  M.  Butler  being  President,  Thomas  F.  Glennon 
and  Edward  H.  Cook  being  actively  interested;  The  "Sharp 
Mills"  established  by  Arthur  R.  Sharp  of  Providence,  Robert 
Schofield  being  manager. 

Since  1910  no  additional  mills  have  been  constructed,  al- 
though extensions  and  improvements  have,  in  some  cases,  been 
made.  Several  of  the  older  mills  have  been  torn  down.  Some 
now  carry  new  names.  A  number  have  been  acquired  by  inter- 
ests outside  New  Bedford  and  operated  for  various  forms  of 
industry  other  than  the  production  of  cotton  cloth. 

There  was  one  interlude  in  the  history  of  our  cotton  in- 
dustry which  had  far  reaching  effects.  In  1898  after  the  fail- 
ure to  make  good  of  most  of  our  then  existing  yarn  mills,  Kid- 
der Peabody  and  Company,  a  Boston  firm  of  bankers,  under  the 
guidance  of  Robert  Winsor,  purchased  the  control  of  a  number 
of  these  mills,  as  well  as  a  few  located  elsewhere,  and  organized 
the  New  England  Cotton  Yarn  Co.,  as  a  holding  company. 
Henry  C.  Sibley  was  Treasurer  and  Arthur  Sharp  General 
Manager.  During  the  earlier  stages  of  this  enterprise  several 
New  Bedford  men  were  connectd  with  it,  Andrew  G.  Pierce, 
Jr.,  Joseph  F.  Knowles,  James  E.  Stanton,  Jr.,  Thomas  F.  Glen- 
non,  Frank  H.  Gifford  and  others.  The  entire  management 
finally  was  in  the  hands  of  F.  Buckley  Smith  of  Worcester.  For 
some  years  the  general  office  of  the  Company  was  in  the  room 
in  which  we  are  now  assembled.  The  enterprise  was  a  failure  and 
the  several  mills  were  sold,  one  by  one,  and,  for  the  most  part, 
converted  into  cloth  mills. 

Our  mills  were  at  first  built  near  tide  water,  utilizing  the 
salt  water  for  condensing  purposes.  The  average  high  humidity 
of  the  Buzzards  Bay  atmosphere  does  not  appear  to  have  been  a 
controlling  factor  in  the  original  development  of  our  cotton 
industry,  although  it  became  an  important  influence  in  stimul- 
ating the  subsequent  growth  of  the  business.  Mechanical  hu- 
midifiers have  largely  nullified  this  natural  advantage. 

In  the  early  days  each  mill  was  surrounded  by  a  village 
maintained  by  the  mill  where  the  operatives  lived.  Young  girls 
from  neighboring  farms  were  employed  working  ten  to  twelve 
hours  a  day,  and  boarded  and  cared  for  in  mill  boarding  houses. 

Most  of  our  earlier  cotton  mills  were  designed  to  receive 
raw  cotton,  cleaning,  combing,  and  spinning  it  into  yarn  of 
various  degrees  of  fineness,  and  weaving  the  yarn  into  a  great 
variety  of  cloth  "in  the  grey".  The  mills  generally  were  planned 
as  complete  co-ordinated  units.  In  the  early  days  the  woven 
grey  goods  were  mostly  "plain"  goods,  such  as  sheetings,  shirt- 
ings, calicos,  and  the  like.  About  1876  "fine"  goods  for  ladies 
wear,  curtains,  and  other  "fancies"  were  featured.  A  few  mills 
specialized  in  yarn  production  alone.  The  grey  goods  were  sold 
to  "converters",  or  directly  to  wholesale  buyers,  who  ordered 
them  sent  elsewhere  for  "finishing",  that  is  to  say,  bleaching, 
dyeing,  printing,  mercerizing,  or  other  manipulation,  trans- 
forming them  into  finished  products  for  final  distribution  to  the 
ultimate  consumers.     In  New  Bedford  there  have  been  no  con- 

siderable  attempts  to  "finish"  goods.  However,  the  Mount 
Hope  Finishing  Company,  situated  in  North  Dighton  (1901), 
(because  of  chemically  pure  water),  was  organized  by  Joseph 
F.  Knowles,  and  has  since  been  owned  and  operated  by  New 
Bedford  men,  under  the  highly  successful  management  of  Joseph 
K.  Milliken,  a  nephew  of  Mr.  Knowles.  The  "finishing"  of  cot- 
ton goods  is  a  story  by  itself. 

In  the  above  cursory  enumeration  of  the  cotton  mills  of 
New  Bedford  no  attempt  is  made  to  tell  their  individual  his- 
tories, their  several  noteworthy  accomplishments,  the  multiplicity 
of  their  products,  their  outstanding  successes  and  vicissitudes, 
or  the  dramatic  stories  of  the  men  who  conceived  and  directed 
them.  The  struggles,  the  changing  viewpoints,  the  hopes  un- 
realized, the  tragedies  involved,  would  make  a  thrilling  saga  of 
this  Old  Dartmouth  town.  To  do  justice  to  such  a  subject  many 
folios  would  be  required. 

Forty  years  ago  Thomas  B.  Reed  said  of  New  Bedford  — 
"If  it's  sturdv  people  could  no  longer  roam  the  seas  conquering 
its  hugest  monster,  they  could  make  the  spindles  whirl  with 
successful  life  on  shore.  The  Earth  has  got  to  be  very  shifty  to 
get  out  of  the  grasp  of  a  people  equally  at  home  on  land  and 
water."  Our  spindles  have  since  whirled  and  our  looms  woven 
with  such  skill  and  in  such  volume,  that  New  Bedford  became  the 
third  largest  cotton  city  of  the  country,  and  admittedly  the  lead- 
ing centre  of  the  fine  goods  manufacturing. 

At  the  height  of  the  prosperity  of  our  cotton  industry, 
about  the  year  1920,  there  were  in  New  Bedford,  twenty-eight 
cotton  establishments,  operating  seventy  mills,  having  3,594,138 
spindles,  5  5,679  looms,  and  employing  41,3  80  operatives.  Our 
neighbor  Fall  River  was  a  close  rival.  Bristol  County,  as  a 
whole,  was  by  far  the  largest  producer  of  cotton  goods  of  any 
locality  of  the  same  area  in  the  United  States.  During  the  hectic 
prosperity  of  the  World  War  period  both  wages  and  dividends 
soared  to  unprecedented  heights. 

Then  came  the  debacle.  We  crashed  from  our  pinnacle  in 
company  with  most  of  the  cotton  mills  in  New  England.  The 
loss  in  spindles  in  the  country  at  large  has  been  nearly  50',  ;  the 
value  of  the  products  30rt  ;  with,  of  course,  a  corresponding  de- 
crease in  the  return  of  our  wage  earners  and  a  very  much  greater 
proportionate  loss  in  dividends  to  the  stockholders.     Many  mills 

throughout  New  England  were  forced  into  bankruptcy,  liquid- 
ated, and  torn  down. 

The  cause  of  this  downfall  was  not  solely  due  to  the  world's 
"hang-over"  from  the  orgy  of  the  Great  War,  a  condition  which 
has  come  to  be  known  as  the  "Great  Depression".  For  some  years 
previous  to  the  War  there  had  been  in  the  United  States  a  pro- 
duction of  cotton  goods  in  excess  of  the  remunerative  demand. 
So  far  as  New  England  is  concerned  the  old  bugbear  of  Southern 
competition  ceased  to  be  an  obsession  and  became  a  distressing 
reality.  As  a  matter  of  fact  the  North  had  again  invaded  the 
South,  not  as  it  did  in  1862  with  bayonets  and  cannon,  but  with 
spindles  and  looms.  Between  1921  and  1933  there  was  a  de- 
crease in  the  square  yard  production  of  purely  cotton  goods  (of 
over  twelve  inches  in  width)  in  New  England  of  43',,  and  an 
increase  in  the  cotton  growing  states  of  77' ,  ,  the  increase  for 
the  whole  country  being  only  17' ,  . 

In  New  Bedford  we  now  have  only  30,  instead  of  70,  mills; 
17  establishments  instead  of  28;  66',  less  spindles,  5  5 '",  less 
looms,  and  the  number  of  our  operatives  has  decreased  66 %  . 
The  nominal  capital  of  the  mills  has  decreased  64' ,  and  the  mar- 
ket value  of  the  capital  stock  egregiously  more. 

The  loss  of  property  and  the  consequent  means  of  livelihood 
of  our  citizens  has  been  devastating.  It  involved  the  loss  of 
wages  of  the  operatives  of  the  cotton  mills  and  the  wages  of  all 
other  workers,  and  the  loss  of  income  to  thousands  of  our  people 
who  had  invested  their  savings  in  the  stock  of  our  mills.  To  at- 
tempt to  minimize  this  withering  loss  is  futile.  For  not  a  few 
of  our  people  their  life  savings,  their  thrift,  their  hope  of  a  rea- 
sonable support  to  make  old  age  independent  of  charity,  have 
"gone  with  the  wind". 

And  yet  there  are  indications  of  a  rosier  tomorrow. 

"For  blessings  ever  wait  on   virtuous  deeds, 
And,   though   a   late,   a   sure    reward   succeeds." 

During  the  last  decade  the  population  of  the  country  has 
increased  out  of  proportion  to  the  manufacture  of  cotton  goods. 
We  may,  perhaps,  hope  for  a  return  of  a  better  economic  balance 
in  general  business  conditions.  If  so  it  is  reasonable  to  expect  this 
increased  population  will  call  for  cotton  cloth,  or  fabrics  of 
which  cotton  is  the  base.  Then,  too,  there  is  the  somewhat  heart- 
less consolation   that  "in  the  ruthless  process  of  the  survival  of 

the  fittest  the  position  of  the  remaining  mills  has  been  greatly 
fortified".  At  all  events  we  have,  fortunately,  sustained  no 
such  devastating  tragedy  as  the  discovery  of  petroleum  oil 
which  once  laid  us  low.  We  may  still  believe  that  the  "shifty" 
earth,  as  Tom  Reed  termed  it,  will  not  get  out  of  our  grasp. 

Another,  even  more  important,  element  in  King  Cotton's 
set  back  has  been  the  innate  tendency  of  human  beings  to  in- 
vent new  needs.  For  instance,  the  ladies,  who,  after  all,  are  the 
final  arbiters  of  business,  saw  fit  to  spurn  cotton  as  raiment. 
In  their  affluence  they  turned  to  silk.  With  less  expansive  times 
they  turned  to  "artificial  silk"  now  called  "rayon".  During  the 
last  decade  there  has  been,  in  this  country,  a  considerable  pro- 
duction of  this  new  fibre.  In  1923  there  were  2  5,000  rayon 
looms.  In  193  3  there  were  47,000  rayon  looms,  of  which  more 
than  half  were  in  New  England.  Today,  doubtless,  there  are 
many  more. 

Rayon,  a  word  of  American  origin,  in  England  called  "ar- 
tificial silk",  is  a  synthetic  glossy  fibre  made  by  forcing  at  high 
pressure  a  viscous  solution  of  cellulose  through  minute  holes. 
Cellulose  is  obtained  from  the  cell  walls  of  woody  shrubs  and 
trees.  So  extensively  have  several  of  our  remaining  New  Bed- 
ford mills  turned  to  rayon,  used  in  combination  with  cotton, 
that  they  can  hardly  any  longer  properly  be  called  "cotton" 
mills.  It  would  almost  seem  that  King  Cotton  has,  at  least  here- 
abouts, taken  a  consort  to  enhance  his  ascendency.  Surely  he  has 
not  abdicated,  nor  is  his  throne  in  jeopardy.  New  objectives, 
new  methods,  new  ministers,  will  preserve  the  dynasty.  The 
lately  invented  mechanical  cotton  picker  may  yet  vie  with  Eli 
Whitney's  gin.  —  If  the  ladies  no  longer  want  voluminous  skirts 
and  petticoats,  The  King  can  furnish  miles  of  fabric  for  the  con- 
struction of  state  highways,  and  automobile  tires  for  every  man, 
woman  and  child  in  the  country.  It  seems  we  may  reasonably 
expect  that  the  fragile  gossamer  enveloping  the  seed  of  the  ages- 
old  cotton  plant  will  still  continue  to  wield  its  potent  sway. 


relating    to    New    Bedford 

Prepared   by 

Edgar  F.  Taber,  Jr. 


Note.  The  word  "Manager"  is  used,  in  most  cases,  to  designate  the  Executive 
Head  of  the  mill  to  avoid  the  confusion  of  the  various  titles  of  Agent,  Super- 
intendent, Treasurer  or  President. 


Inc.  Feb.  3,  1846 

Formed  shortly  before  the  Wamsutta,  the  N.  B.  Steam  Co. 
was  the  first  cotton  mill  in  the  city.  It  was  located  near  the  foot 
of  Hillman  St.  President  George  Hussey,  treasurer  Samuel 
Rodman,  manager  Alden  G.  Snell;  Bethnel  Penniman,  Thomas 
C.  Allen,  William  R.  Rotch  were  additional  directors.  The 
capacity  of  the  mill  was  7,5  00  spindles.  Its  capital  was  limited 
to  $100,000  not  all  paid  in.  The  mill  was  not  successful,  and  was 
discontinued  in  18  52.  The  corporation  was  not  formally  dis- 
solved, however,  until   1931. 


Inc.  April  8,   1846 

Maximum  capital       $6,000,000 
spindles  227,000 

looms  3,427 

operatives  2,400 

Joseph  Grinnell  was  first  president.  Edward  L.  Baker  first 
treasurer,  with  David  R.  Greene,  Thomas  Mandell,  Joseph  C. 
Delano,  Pardon  Tillinghast  and  Thomas  Bennett  Jr.  directors. 
The  success  of  the  mill  may  be  in  large  part  attributed  to  the 
genius  of  Mr.  Bennett,  for  many  years  manager.  Under  his 
management  additions  were  built  in  1854-55,  1865,  and  1870. 
Subsequent  managers  included  Edward  Kilburn,  Edward  R. 
Milliken,  William  J.  Kent,  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Edward  T.  Pierce, 
Arthur  L.  Emery,  William  O.  Buzzell  and  Charles  F.  Broughton. 
On  April  6,  1924  the  Wamsutta  suffered  the  worst  mill  fire  in 
the  city's  history.  The  Wamsutta  is  still  operating  after  90 
years,  although  part  of  the  original  mill,  no.  1,  was  leased  in 
193  5   to  the  Narragansett  Shirt  Co. 


Inc.    1871 

Maximum  capital       $1,800,000 
spindles  117,100 

looms  2,824 

operatives  1,200 

James  Robinson  was  first  president  and  treasurer  of  the 
Potomska,  with  the  following  directors:  David  S.  Wood,  clerk; 
William  J.  Rotch,  Charles  L.  Wood,  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Matthew 
Howland,  William  Watkins,  and  Henry  F.  Thayer.  Operations 
were  begun  in  1873.  Original  capital  was  $600,000,  increased 
to  $1,200,000  when  a  second  unit  was  added  in  1877.  Hiram 
Kilburn  was  manager  until  1884,  when  he  was  succeeded  by 
Manly  U.  Adams.  Other  managers  have  been  William  O.  Devoll, 
Charles  E.  Brady,  Francis  O.  McDevitt,  and  Willliam  O.  Buzzell. 

The  Potomska  was  sold  to  the  Potomska  Corporation,  a 
subsidary  of  General  Cotton,  for  liquidation,  on  Dec.  13,  1934. 
In  1 93  S  the  land  and  buildings  were  taken  by  the  city  for  taxes, 
and  the  buildings  were  demolished  as  a  WPA  project  in  1935-36. 


Inc.  Dec.  22,  1881 

Maximum  capital       $2,000,000 
spindles  114,240 

looms  3,5  34 

operatives  1,45  0 

The  Acushnet  was  organized  in  1881  with  Horatio  Hath- 
away as  president,  and  Joseph  F.  Knowles  manager.  Other  mem- 
bers of  the  board  of  directors  were  Jonathan  Bourne,  William 
W.  Crapo,  Thomas  H.  Knowles,  William  A.  Robinson,  Francis 
Hathaway,  Loum  Snow  Jr.,  Gilbert  Allen,  and  Thomas  E. 
Brayton.  The  mill  building,  located  on  the  waterfront  north 
of  Cove  Road,  was  completed  in  1883  and  operations  were  be- 
gun in  that  year.  A  second  mill  was  built  in  1887.  Subse- 
quent managers  included  Robert  H.  Bartlett,  J.  F.  Knowles  Jr. 
and  James  E.  Stanton  Jr.  On  Feb.  27,  1897  the  mill  was  the 
scene  of  the  worst  boiler  explosion  in  the  history  of  the  city, 
when  two  men  were  killed  and  others  injured.  Although  the 
mill  was  modernized  in  the  20's,  on  Nov.  21,  1929  the  directors 
voted  to  liquidate.  After  the  machinery  had  been  sold,  on  March 
6,  1931  the  contract  was  awarded  to  tear  down  the  building. 
The  final  liquidating  dividend  was  paid  March  8,   1932. 


Inc.  March  14,  1882 

Maximum  capital       $1,500,000 
looms  126,000 

spindles  3,13  5 

operatives  1,000 

Edward  Kilburn  was  original  president  of  the  Grinnell, 
with  Otis  N.  Pierce,  treasurer,  Wm.  J.  Kent,  manager,  and  James 
W.  Allen,  bookkeeper.  Other  directors  included  Stephen  A. 
Jenks,  William  F.  Draper,  Thomas  M.  Stetson,  Joseph  A.  Beau- 
vais,  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Thomas  B.  Wilcox,  John  W.  Macumber, 
Charles  W.  Plummer,  and  Horatio  Hathaway.  Subsequent  man- 
agers included  N.  B.  Kerr,  Joseph  W.  Webster,  Treas.  and  Fred 
Steele.  Liquidation  of  the  Grinnell  was  voted  Jan.  7,  1927. 
Part  of  the  property  was  sold  to  the  Revere  Copper  and  Brass, 
Inc.  The  remainder  was  sold  to  William  Rocklin  for  dismant- 


Inc.    1882 

Charles  W.  Clifford  was  first  president,  with  William  D. 
Howland,  treasurer  and  Byron  F.  Card,  general  manager.  Dir- 
ectors: —  Oliver  P.  Brightman,  Charles  W.  Clifford,  Edmund 
Grinnell,  Charles  W.  Plummer,  Edward  T.  Pierce,  William  D. 
Howland,  and  David  Wood.  The  plant,  located  at  the  foot  of 
North  St.,  was  originally  a  spinning  mill  with  17,088  spindles 
and  finally  increased  to  40,000. 

The  New  Bedford  Manufacturing  Company  went  into  in- 
solvency in  1897,  was  taken  over  by  its  creditors,  and  a  new 
corporation  was  formed  called  the  New  Bedford  Spinning 
Company  with  Edward  Kilburn  as  president,  Frank  H.  Gifford, 
treasurer,  Thomas  F.  Glennon,  manager,  and  the  directors  in- 
cluded Edward  Kilburn,  Frank  H.  Gifford,  Gilbert  Allen, 
William  W.  Crapo  and  Otis  N.  Pierce. 

This  mill  continued  under  that  management  for  two  years 
until  1899  when  the  New  England  Cotton  Yarn  Co.  was  formed 
and  this  plant  together  with  other  yarn  mills  was  purchased  by 
the  New  England  Cotton  Yarn  Company. 

In  1917  it  was  sold  to  the  Passaic  Cotton  Mills,  later  the 
American  Cotton  Fabric  Corporation.  In  1924,  300  looms  were 
added.  In  July  192  5  it  was  sold  to  Amory  Browne  &  Company 
who  sold  it  in  1932  to  Jacob  Genensky. 


Inc.    188  8 

William  J.  Rotch  was  first  president  with  William  D.  How- 
land,  treasurer,  and  Byron  F.  Card,  manager,  and  the  following 
directors: — Horatio  Hathaway,  Thomas  B.  Tripp,  Charles  W. 
Clifford,  Morgan  Rotch,  and  Charles  W.  Plummer.  The  orig- 
inal capital  was  $3  5  0,000.  A  few  years  later  the  capital  was  in- 
creased and  No.  2  mill  erected.  The  plant,  located  at  the  south 
end  of  Orchard  Street  on  Clark's  Cove,  became  financially  in- 
volved in  1897  and  was  reorganized  and  continued  operations 
under  the  direction  of  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Jr.  It  continued  under 
that  management  until  1899  when  it  was  sold  to  the  New  Eng- 
land Cotton  Yarn  Company.  In  1902  it  was  re-incorporated 
as  the  Gosnold  Mill. 


Inc.  December  1888 

Maximum  capital       $2,000,000 
spindles  111,012 

looms  3,290 

operatives  1,400 

Horatio  Hathaway  was  first  president  of  the  mill,  named 
for  him,  with  Joseph  F.  Knowles,  treasurer  and  manager.  Other 
directors  were  Jonathan  Bourne,  Sidney  W.  Knowles,  Francis 
Hathaway,  William  W.  Crapo,  Thomas  E.  Brayton.  Subsequent 
managers  included  James  E.  Stanton,  Jr.,  and  Seabury  Stanton. 
The  plant  is  located  on  Cove  Street  west  of  the  Dartmouth  Mill. 
It  still  operates. 


Incorporated   1888 

Maximum  capital  $750,000 

spindles  5  9,064 

looms  400 

operatives  600 

Otis  N.  Pierce  was  first  president  of  the  City,  with  Ben- 
jamin Wilcox  treasurer  and  manager.  Other  directors  included 
Thomas  B.  Wilcox,  Cyrenius  W.  Haskins,  Thomas  H.  Knowles, 
Edward  Kilburn,  J.  P.  Knowles,  Jr.,  Stephen  A.  Jenks,  William 
H.  Parker  and  Charles  Tucker.  Subsequent  managers  included 
Frank  S.  Wilcox,  John  B.  Strongman,  and  Samuel  F.  Winsper. 
Originally  a  spinning  mill,  it  operated  until  1931.  In  1931  it 
was  sold  to  the  Prospect  Realty  Co.  for  liquidation.  From  192  5 
to  1931  the  City  Mfg.  Co.  operated  a  cloth  mill  in  Taunton. 


Inc.    1889 

Spindles        120,000 
Operatives        1,000 

Frank  R.  Hadley  was  president  and  treasurer  and  Lewis  E. 
Bentley,  manager  of  the  Bennett,  with  the  following  directors: 
— Stephen  W.  Hayes,  Antone  L.  Sylvia,  Henry  A.  Holcomb,  W. 
E.  Brownell,  Joseph  A.  Beauvais,  Charles  W.  Brownell,  John  J. 
Hicks  and  William  Lewis. 


Inc.    1892 

Capital       $5  00,000 
Spindles  80,000 

Operatives  600 

The  Columbia  was  built  by  the  same  group  as  the  Bennett. 
Frank  R.  Hadley  was  president  and  treasurer,  with  Charles  W. 
Brownell,  Antone  L.  Sylvia,  William  Lewis,  William  E.  Brown- 
ell,  Stephen  W.  Hayes,  Henry  A.  Holcomb,  and  J.  A.  Brownell, 
directors.  Both  the  Bennett  and  the  Columbia  came  to  serious 
difficulty,  along  with  some  other  yarn  mills  in  the  city  in  1897 
at  which  time  the  management  of  both  the  Bennett  and  Colum- 
bia was  taken  over  by  James  E.  Stanton,  Jr.,  who  continued  the 
operations  of  the  mills  until  1899  when  they  were  both  pur- 
chased by  the  New  England  Cotton  Yarn  Company.  The  Ben- 
nett became  Depts.  1  and  2  while  the  Columbia  became  Depts. 
3  and  4.  The  mills  were  located  together,  on  the  waterfront 
just  north  of  Coggeshall  St.  In  1917  the  Cotton  Yarn  Co.  sold 
them  to  a  new  Corporation,  the  Fairhaven  Mills. 


Inc.    1891 

Maximum  capital       $1,000,000 
spindles  67,240 

looms  1,876 

operatives  650 

Thomas  H.  Knowles  was  first  president  of  the  Bristol,  with 
Benjamin  Wilcox,  treasurer  and  manager.  Other  directors  were 
William  H.  Parker,  Thomas  B.  Wilcox,  Rufus  A.  Soule  and 
Cyrenius  W.  Haskins.  Operations  were  begun  in  1893.  Sub- 
sequent managers  included  Frank  Neild,  John  Neild,  Frank  S. 
Wilcox,  Edward  O.  Knowles,  Charles  A.  Morrison,  and  John 
L.  Burton.  The  plant,  located  at  the  corner  of  Coggeshall  St. 
and  Belleville  Ave.,  was  liquidated  between  1930  and  1932, 
when  the  buildings  went  to  the  city  for  taxes.  The  mill  was 
torn  down  as  a  civil  works  project,  demolition  being  completed 
March  24,  193  3.  1,900,000  brick  were  salvaged  from  the  Bristol, 
and  were  used  to  build  the  High  School  addition,  the  municipal 
garage,  the  Water  Department  garage,  the  Buttonwood  Park 
recreational  center,  and  an  addition  to  the  Vocational  School. 
Some  of  the  planking  was  used  to  repair  the  Coggeshall  St.  bridge. 


Inc.  March   3,    1892 

Maximum  capital  $600,000 

spindles  116,000 

looms  3,512 

operatives  1,200 

Andrew  G.  Pierce  was  first  president  of  the  Pierce  Mfg. 
Corp,  with  Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Jr.  as  treasurer  and  manager  and 
Albert  R.  Pierce,  agent.  Other  directors  included  Edward  T. 
Pierce,  Walter  Clifford,  Lemuel  T.  Terry,  and  Morgan  Rotch. 
The  plant  is  located  at  Belleville  Ave.  and  is  still  (1937)  oper- 


Inc.  Nov.   5,   1892 

Maximum  capital       $1,02  5,000 
spindles  15  0,000 

operatives  2,600 

William  J.  Rotch  was  first  president,  with  William  D.  How- 
land,  treasurer,  and  Byron  F.  Card,  Supt.  Charles  W.  Clifford 
and  Morgan  Rotch  were  members  of  the  directorate.  This 
corporation  like  several  others  became  financially  involved  in 
1897  and  was  operated  for  the  next  two  years  in  connection 
with  the  Howland  Mills  under  the  direction  of  Andrew  G.  Pierce, 
Jr.,  treasurer.  The  plant  was  sold  to  the  N.  E.  Cotton  Yarn  Co. 
in  1899,  becoming  Depts.  7  and  8.  In  1916  sold  to  the  Passaic 
Mills,  later  the  American  Cotton  Fabric  Corp.  In  1917  this 
firm  constructed  a  $5  00,000  addition,  known  as  the  Penrod  Mill, 
with  30,000  spindles.  In  1924  the  plant  was  split  between  the 
Fisk  and  Goodyear  rubber  companies,  Goodyear  taking  Depts. 
1,  2  and  3,  and  leasing  part  of  4.  The  plant  is  located  on  Or- 
chard St.,  next  to  the  Gosnold.     It  still  functions. 


Inc.  June  17,   189S 

Maximum  capital       $3,000,000 
spindles  177,608 

looms  4,912 

operatives  2,000 

The  Whitman  was  promoted  by  the  converting  firm  of 
Harding  and  Whitman,  with  Frank  R.  Hadley  of  New  Bedford 
as  first  president  and  Charles  C.  Diman,  treasurer.  Directors 
included  Abbott  P.  Smith,  Henry  A.  Holcomb,  George  E.  Briggs, 
Lewis  E.  Bentley,  Edgar  Harding,  and  William  Whitman.  Sub- 
sequent managers  included  William  A.  Congdon,  Albert  G. 
Mason,  Treasurer  and  Walter  B.  Hall.  At  the  time  of  the  split 
between  the  Harding  and  Whitman  interests,  the  Whitman  mill, 
went  to  Harding.  Liquidation  of  the  plant,  located  on  Coffin 
Ave.,  east  of  the  site  of  Manomet  No.  1  and  2,  was  begun  in 
1931.  The  corporation  was  dissolved  in  1933,  and  the  buddings 
went  to  the  city  for  taxes.  In  1934  the  weave  shed  was  demol- 
ished as  an  ERA  project. 


Inc.  Aug.   20,   1895 

Maximum  capital       $4,600,000 
spindles  200,000 

looms  5,700 

operatives  2,200 

Rufus  A.  Soule  was  first  president  of  the  Dartmouth,  with 
James  W.  Allen,  treasurer,  Walter  H.  Langshaw,  manager,  and 
the  following  directors:  Abbott  P.  Smith,  Charles  E.  Riley,  Ste- 
phen A.  Jenks,  Thomas  H.  Knowles,  Gilbert  Allen,  Thomas  B. 
Tripp,  Frederic  Taber,  Nataniel  B.  Kerr,  Clarence  A.  Cook, 
and  Arnold  Schaer.  Subsequently  Mr.  Langshaw  became  presi- 
dent and  under  his  management  the  mill  was  very  profitable  and 
expanded  greatly,  one  addition  being  known  as  the  Langshaw 
Mill.  In  March,  193  3,  the  plant  was  sold  to  the  Cove  Realty  Co., 
for  liquidation,  but  in  June  of  that  year  it  was  sold  again  to  the 
Powdrell-Dartmouth  Corporation.  It  has  been  reorganized  as 
the  Dartmouth  Mills,  Inc.,  and  is  now  operating  under  man- 
agement of  F.  A.  Powdrell  and  H.  H.  Pepler.  The  plant  is  lo- 
cated at  the  east  end  of  Cove  St.,  next  to  the  Hathaway. 


Originally  incorporated  August   17,   1896 

Maximum  capital       $3,000,000 
spindles  20,3  5  2 

looms  900 

operatives  1,600 

In  1904  Charles  D.  Owen,  Sr.  and  Charles  O.  Dexter  of 
Providence  promoted  the  rehabilitation  of  an  almost  defunct 
concern  known  as  the  Beacon  Mfg.  Co.  The  building,  located 
on  County  Street  at  the  head  of  Deane,  had  been  begun  by  the 
Mr.  Pleasant  Mfg.  Co.,  which  failed  before  the  plant  was  com- 
pleted. Its  successor,  the  original  Beacon,  also  failed  within  a 
year  after  its  beginning.  Chas.  E.  Riley  was  president  of  this 
venture,  with  A.  de  Cort,  treasurer.  The  machinery  was  sold 
and  sent  to  Paducah,  Ky.  The  property  had  been  vacant  for 
six  years  when  it  was  taken  over  by  the  new  management.  Henry 
Taber  was  first  president.  Charles  D.  Owen  was  first  treasurer, 
and  Charles  O.  Dexter,  manager.  Under  their  management  the 
mill  became  famous  as  manufacturer  of  Beacon  blankets.  Mr. 
Owen  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Charles  D.  Owen,  Jr.,  who  died 
May  24,  1937.  The  present  treasurer  is  the  third  Charles  D. 

In  192  5  one  third  of  the  machinery  was  moved  to  a  new 
plant  at  Swannanoa,  North  Carolina,  and  in  1933  the  removal 
of  the  remaining  machinery  from  the  New  Bedford  plant  was 
begun.  The  building  here  is  being  used  at  present  as  the  comp- 
any's warehouse. 


Inc.  Feb.   14,  1901 

Maximum  capital       $1,260,000 
spindles  93,000 

looms  2,300 

operatives  900 

Rufus  A.  Soule,  for  whom  the  mill  was  named,  was  its  first 
president,  with  Frederick  B.  Macy,  treasurer.  Abbot  P.  Smith, 
Arnold  Schaer,  Frederic  Taber,  Charles  F.  Shaw,  and  George  R. 
Stetson  were  the  original  directors.  Subsequent  managers  in- 
cluded Rufus  A.  Soule,  Jr.  and  Frederic  H.  McDevitt.  The 
plant  is  located  on  the  waterfront,  north  of  the  Fairhaven  Mills 
buildings  and  still  operates. 


Inc.  April   14,   1902 

Maximum  capital       $2,000,000 
spindles  12  5,000 

operatives  1,200 

looms  2,800 

William  M.  Butler  was  first  president  of  the  mill  named 
for  him,  with  Nathaniel  B.  Kerr,  manager.  Directors  included 
Abbott  P.  Smith,  Rufus  A.  Soule,  Matthew  R.  Hitch,  Guy  Mur- 
chie,  and  Frederick  B.  Macy.  Subsequent  managers  were  Walter 
PI.  Underdown,  Morgan  Butler,  Joseph  W.  Bailey  and  James  A. 
Adams.  In  1922  the  Butler  took  over  the  Nemasket  mill  in 
Taunton.  The  Butler  plant,  located  on  Rodney  French  Boule- 
vard between  Ruth  and  David  Streets,  was  sold  to  Associated 
Textiles  in  1931.  In  1933  it  went  into  receivership,  and  was 
abandoned  to  the  city  in  1935. 


Inc.  June  20,   1902 

Maximum  capital       $3,300,000 
spindles  141,438 

looms  4,940 

operatives  1,700 

Formerly  the  Howland  Mill,  the  Gosnold  was  formed  with 
Richard  M.  Saltonstall  as  president  and  John  C.  Rice  treas- 
urer. Directors  included  James  E.  Stanton,  J.  Frank  Knowles, 
Flenry  Endicott,  Jr.,  Joseph  Remick,  William  S.  Benedict  and 
Jeremiah  Smith,  Jr.  Subsequent  managers  included  James  O. 
Thompson,  John  B.  Strohman,  Charles  M.  Holmes,  and  Allan 
Barrows.  The  New  England  Cotton  Yarn  Co.,  sold  the  Gosnold 
to  Harding  and  Tilton  in  1916.  In  1929  it  was  reorganized  as 
the  Gosnold  Mills  Corporation.  The  plant  is  located  on  Clark's 
Cove  at  the  foot  of  Orchard  St.  and  still  operates. 


Inc.  Oct.  3,   1903 

Maximum  capital       $8,000,000 
spindles  318,480 

looms  64 

operatives  4,5  00 

Edgar  Harding  was  first  president  of  the  Manomet,  with 
Arnold  C.  Gardner  treasurer.  The  original  board  of  directors 
included  William  Whitman,  William  F.  Draper,  G.  Marston 
Whitin,  Charles  M.  Holmes,  George  E.  Kunhardt,  and  Charles 
W.  Leonard.  Subsequent  managers  included  Jesse  A.  Knight 
and  Walter  A.  Fuller.  No.  2  mill  was  built  in  1907-8,  No.  3 
in  1916,  and  No.  4,  the  largest  single  spinning  unit  in  the  world, 
in  1920-22.  The  first  three  mills  were  built  together  near  the 
Whitman,  but  No.  4  was  built  farther  west,  between  Church 
St.  and  the  railroad.  Liquidation  of  the  mammoth  plant  was 
begun  in  1927.  No.  4,  which  had  never  been  operated  at 
capacity,  was  sold  to  the  Firestone  Rubber  Co.  in  1927.  No.  3 
had  been  sold  to  the  Nashawena  and  had  been  converted  to  weav- 
ing, in  1925.  No.  1  and  2  were  sold  in  1928  to  the  Delaware  Ray- 
on Co.,  and  became  the  New  Bedford  Rayon  Co. 


Inc.  Aug.  24,  1904 

Maximum  capital       $2,250,000 
spindles  126,464 

operatives  1,2  5  0 

A  spinning  mill,  the  Kilburn  was  promoted  by  the  Fales 
&  Jenks  Machinery  Co.  and  Abbott  P.  Smith.  Edward  Kilburn, 
for  whom  the  mill  was  named,  was  its  first  president,  with  Henry 
L.  Tiffany,  treasurer  and  manager,  and  Andrew  Currier,  agent. 
Among  the  original  directors  were  Abbott  P.  Smith,  Matthew 
R.  Hitch,  Fred  W.  Easton  and  William  W.  Reed.  George  B. 
Knowles  later  became  manager  of  the  mill.  The  plant,  which 
was  enlarged  in  1915,  is  located  on  Clark's  Cove  at  the  beginning 
of  Rodney  French  Boulevard  and  still  operates. 


Inc.  March  23,   1906 

Maximum  capital       $1,200,000 
spindles  64,000 

looms  1,742 

operatives  780 

Russell  Grinnell  was  first  president  of  the  Page,  with  John 
W.  Knowles,  manager.  Directors  included  Henry  H.  Crapo, 
Oliver  Prescott,  Jr.,  John  W.  Knowles,  Eliot  D.  Stetson,  and 
John  H.  Clifford.  Walter  H.  Page  subsequently  became  man- 
ager. In  1920  it  was  purchased  by  Textile  Factors,  Inc.,  a 
Harding-Tilton  subsidiary,  and  was  merged  with  the  Gosnold. 
In  1927  it  was  again  sold  to  Kidder-Peabody  interests  for  half  a 
million  dollars  and  was  made  part  of  a  group  of  mills  under  the 
corporate  name  of  United  Merchants  and  Manufacturers,  Inc., 
headed  by  Homer  Loring.  16,000  spindles  from  the  Manomet 
were  added  to  the  Page  in  1928,  and  5  00  new  automatic  looms 
were  installed  in  1933.     Operations  were  suspended  in  1935. 


Inc.  April  5,   1906 

Maximum  capital       $2,000,000 
spindles  70,720 

looms  1,800 

operatives  700 

Frederic  Taber  was  first  president  of  the  mill,  with  Rufus  A. 
Soule,  Jr.  manager.  Original  directors  included  Abbot  P.  Smith, 
Rufus  A.  Soule,  Frederick  H.  Taber,  Frederic  B.  Macy,  William 
C.  Hawes,  Edmund  W.  Bourne,  and  George  R.  Phillips.  Sub- 
sequent managers  included  John  Sullivan,  William  E.  Kern, 
Walter  H.  Page,  Andrew  W.  Macy,  and  R.  G.  Ferguson.  As 
originally  planned,  the  spinning  department  was  to  have  been 
known  as  the  Quansett  Mill,  but  this  name  was  abandoned.  The 
Taber  purchased  the  Corr  plant  in  Taunton  in  1926.  The 
Taunton  mill  was  turned  over  to  a  separate  corporation,  the 
Riverside  Corp.,  in  1932.  The  Taber  received  an  R.  F.  C.  loan 
in  1934  and  petitioned  to  reorganize  under  the  federal  bank- 
ruptcy act  April  30,   1937. 


Inc.  Nov.  13,  1906 

Maximum  capital       $4,800,000 
spindles  196,000 

looms  250 

operatives  1,600 

William  Whitman  was  first  president  of  the  Nonquit,  with 
Leonard  C.  Lapham,  treasurer  and  Andrew  J.  Currier,  manager. 
Original  directors  included  William  Whitman,  William  F.  Drap- 
er, Charles  W.  Leonard,  Richard  S.  Russell,  George  M.  Whitin, 
Arthur  T.  Bradlee,  and  Malcolm  Campbell.  Subsequent  man- 
agers included  Fred  W.  Hayes,  and  P.  Leroy  Lamb.  In  1929 
the  "Spinning"  was  dropped  from  the  firm  name,  it  being  re- 
organized as  the  Nonquit  Mills,  with  a  weaving  department. 
Mill  No.  1  has  been  leased  to  the  Edgar  Weaving  Co.,  and  the 
New  Bedford  Mfg.  Co. 


Inc.  June  16,   1909 

Maximum  capital       $7,S00,000 
spindles  275,000 

looms  6,100 

operatives  2,700 

William  Whitman  was  first  president  of  the  Nashawena, 
with  William  B.  Gardner  as  treasurer.  Original  directors  in- 
cluded George  E.  Bullard,  Robert  H.  Gardner,  George  E.  Kuhn- 
hardt,  Charles  W.  Leonard,  Richard  S.  Russell,  George  M.  Whitin, 
Malcolm  D.  Whitman  and  George  A.  Draper.  Managers  included 
John  L.  Burton  and  John  Kirk.  The  plant,  located  on  Belleville 
Avenue  north  of  Manomet  Nos.  1  and  2,  included  the  largest 
weave  shed  in  the  world.  Additions  were  built  in  1916,  and  1920- 
22.  In  192  5  the  Nashawena  purchased  and  enlarged  Manomet 
No.  3,  converting  it  to  weaving.  This  building,  known  as  B 
plant,  was  sold  to  General  Cotton  in  1927.  The  Nashawena 
closed  down  in  July,  1935.  Part  of  the  plant  was  reopened  in 
January,  1937. 


Inc.  April   13,   1909 

Maximum  capital       $1,816,000 
spindles  73,000 

looms  1,75  0 

operatives  680 

William  M.  Butler  was  first  president  of  this  mill,  and 
Walter  H.  Underdown,  manager.  Original  directors  included 
Abbott  P.  Smith,  William  C.  Hawes,  and  Nathaniel  B.  Kerr. 
With  the  Butler,  the  N.  B.  Cotton  Mills  became  part  of  Asso- 
ciated Textiles  in  1929,  which  has  since  been  liquidated. 


Inc.  May  3,   1909 

John  C.  Anderson  was  first  president  of  this  mill,  with 
Charles  S.  Kelley,  Charles  S.  Kelley,  Jr.  and  Matthew  R.  Hitch 
members  of  the  board  of  directors.  With  a  capital  of  $18,100, 
the  concern  had  2,400  spindles  and  employed  18  men.  It  was 
dissolved  in  1911. 


Inc.  May  18,  1909 

Maximum  capital       $1,200,000 
spindles  69, 552 

operatives  1,000 

Charles  L.  Harding  was  first  president  with  Charles  M. 
Holmes,  for  whom  the  mill  was  named,  as  manager.  The  orig- 
inal board  of  directors  included  Earnest  A.  Wheaton,  J.  Henry 
Herring,  Stephen  W.  Hayes,  E.  Russell  Richardson,  William  L. 
Mauran  and  William  A.  Congdon.  Subsequent  managers  in- 
cluded Daniel  R.  Weeden  and  Joseph  D.  Murray.  In  January, 
1934  the  Holmes  was  sold  to  the  Kendall  Corporation  for  $60,- 
000  and  two  years'  back  taxes.  75  0  looms  were  added,  since 
increased  to  900. 


Inc.  June  29,  1909 

Maximum  capital  $700,000 

spindles  5  3,000 

looms  1,200 

operatives  5  00 

Andrew  G.  Pierce,  Jr.  was  original  president  of  this  mill, 
with  Edward  T.  Pierce,  treasurer  and  Albert  R.  Pierce,  manager. 
After  a  considerable  shut-down,  the  mill  was  reopened  March  1, 
1937,  under  the  management  of  Fred  W.  Steele. 


Inc.    March    10,    1910 

Maximum  capital       $1,200,000 
spindles  62,600 

looms  1,600 

operatives  1,000 

John  Neild  was  first  president  of  the  mill,  with  Joseph  W. 
Allen,  treasurer.  Original  directors  included  Charles  M.  Cole, 
Frederic  H.  Taber,  Rufus  A.  Soule,  Frank  Croacher,  F.  William 
Oesting,  and  Frank  S.  Wilcox.  Frank  I.  Neild  later  took  over 
the  management.  The  plant  was  enlarged  in  1925,  when  an 
addition  was  made  to  the  weave  shed.     It  is  still  operating. 


Inc.  April  2,  1910 

Maximum  capital       $2,306,000 
spindles  80,000 

operatives  900 

William  M.  Butler  was  first  president  of  the  Quisset,  with 
Thomas  F.  Glennon,  agent  and  Edward  H.  Cook,  treasurer. 
Abbott  P.  Smith,  Frederic  Taber  and  Frank  J.  Hale  were  also 
directors.  Operations  were  begun  in  1912.  The  plant  was  later 
converted  to  include  rayon  spinning.     It  is  still  operating. 


Inc.  July  27,   1910 

Maximum  capital       $2,296,900 
spindles  5  6,164 

looms  1,770 

operatives  1,200 

The  Booth,  named  for  its  first  manager,  George  H. 
Booth,  was  promoted  in  part  by  the  Crompton  &  Knowles 
Loom  Works  and  the  H.  &  B.  American  Machine  Co.  George 
S.  Homer  was  first  president,  with  Frederic  R.  Brown,  treasurer, 
and  directors  including  George  H.  Booth,  William  L.  Mauren, 
Oliver  F.  Brown,  T.  S.  Carpenter,  C.  H.  Hutchins,  and  Charles 
E.  Riley,  who  succeeded  Mr.  Homer  as  president.  Subsequent 
managers  included  Fred  W.  Steele,  Frank  I.  Neild,  Joseph  W. 
Bailey,  Earl  C.  Miller,  Edgar  F.  Taber,  and  Allen  G.  Shaw.  The 
plant  is  located  on  Rodney  French  Boulevard,  south  of  the 
Holmes.     Still  operating. 


Inc.  June  3,   1910 

Maximum  capital       $3,817,000 
spindles  200,000 

looms  1,000 

operatives  2,000 

The  mill  was  named  for  Arthur  R.  Sharp,  at  first  treas- 
urer and  later  president.  First  president  was  Joseph  T.  Kenney. 
Directors  included  William  H.  Bent,  Charles  P.  Curtis,  Grank 
Brewster  and  I.  W.  Curtis.  Subsequent  managers  included  Rob- 
ert Schofield,  I.  W.  Curtis,  and  Frank  C.  Sawtell.  A  second 
mill  was  erected  in  1916-17,  and  the  first  looms  were  installed 
in  1921.  Operations  were  stopped  in  1928,  machinery  being 
auctioned  in  June,  1929.  Final  liquidation  came  in  1937,  when 
the  buildings  were  purchased  by  Rockdale  Mills,  Inc.  "for  manu- 
facturing purposes"  and  razed. 


0  014  077  335  9  # 


Inc.  Feb.  3,  1917 

Maximum  capital       $3,500,000 
spindles  209,000 

operatives  3,000 

Charles  L.  Harding  was  first  president,  with  James  Thom- 
son, manager.  Other  directors  were  Stephen  W.  Hayes,  Charles 
M.  Holmes,  Nathaniel  F.  Ayer,  C.  Minot  Weld,  H.  A.  Wyman, 
Edward  Burbeck,  and  Edward  A.  Taft.  The  plant  was  pur- 
chased from  the  N.  E.  Cotton  Yarn  Co.,  consisting  of  the  old 
Bennett  and  Columbia  mills.  Subsequent  managers  included 
Charles  M.  Holmes,  Edgar  F.  Taber  and  Ernest  R.  Haswell. 
The  mill  was  not  successful,  first  step  in  dissolution  being  the 
formation  of  the  Pemaquid  mill  in  1924.  Consisting  of  Dept.  3 
(formerly  no.  1  Columbia)  the  Pemaquid  had  a  nominal  capital 
of  $1,050,000  and  33,516  spindles,  and  was  converted  to  weaving 
by  installation  of  45  6  looms.  Mr.  Harding  was  president,  Al- 
bert G.  Mason,  treasurer,  and  Walter  B.  Hall,  agent.  Frederic 
Thomas  later  succeeded  Mr.  Mason.  In  1932  the  Pemaquid  was 
purchased  and  liquidated  By  Jerome  A.  Newman,  acting  for 
General  Cotton. 

The  Fairhaven  was  sold  at  auction  in  1930,  to  Frederic  W. 
Greene  of  Newport.  Subsequently  the  Fairhaven  Real  Estate 
Co.  was  formed,  formed  preferred  stockholders  recieving  com- 
mon stock.  Since  then,  the  Fairhaven  buildings  have  been  rented 
to  a  number  of  small  enterprises,  including  silk  manufacturers, 
clothing  companies  and  a  pocket-book  concern. 


0  014  077  335  9 


pH  83 

Mill  Run  FOS-2193